Andrey Vertiprakhov

I want to give people feeling of flying

Born in Kungur, graduated from Kharkov Higher Fighter School as air force officer. After retirement from military career returned to his native city. Organizer and inspirer of the International aero festival Air Fair, creator of the first Russian piloting school for children (Kungur).


  • Aerostatics is the romance of the old days; modern people miss it.
  • Family is not only about happiness, but also about hard work; and as any work you like, this one brings me pleasure.
  • Flying gives you an amazing amount of freedom and joy!
  • Everyone is happy to see you when you are flying over the city. It is a miracle for people; they open up and start talking to you. Reaction is very important to me, it is important to share feelings.
  • Man can realize his potential only when he's free, then more and more opportunities show up your way.

My story

I was born in Kungur, so when I finished my job as air force officer I immediately returned. Home attracts you; they say, «East or West, home is best» for a reason. I had an opportunity to stay in the army but everything is so regular and ordered there and I needed freedom of flight.

I opened parachute club in Kungur, then became interested in scouting, paragliding, and hot air baloons. Later Air Fair was born.

In 2001, I happened to be at the Championship of Russia in aerostatics in Velikiye Luki, and for the first time I saw how amazing it is when there are so many air balloons flying over the city. I had a childhood dream, I wanted to see my house from above. I came to make it true, and, of course, I wanted to give people of my city this feeling of flight that I experienced.

In 2011, we opened first Russian children municipal piloting school where kids still study for free. Actually, it is one large family of balloonists. For example, we have been friends with Japanese pilots for more than five years, this year they presented us a balloon for children school designed by children themselves.

Air Fair has become a trend for Russia, Kungur goes mental for a whole week, the whole town is living these moments.

Programs of scouting and children tourism resulted into children camp Vstrechnyi Veter (Headwind). We've rented a nice place over the river near the Posad village, in Ust-Kishert neighbourhood, and started creating our own world there, a free and healthy space. We want to fill it with art objects, create a real open-air museum for poets, musicians, artists to realize themselves, for both adults and children to feel free there.

Every kid has an internal ramrod, a heart's desire we always try to wake in them. Let children see themselves anew, feel their potential and, I am sure, they will surprise us in so many ways. No need to teach kids, just give them a chance to see world in a different light — through sounds, smells, contemplation, and art.

Where there is an idea, resource will follow. The more we believe, the more opportunities appear, and people come, and they are magical here.

You want to open these little windows for more people to have a peek. To have a peek and then stay and discover themselves here.

Экскурсии вместе

Tour in children piloting school

Organizers will tell you how to fly over the ground, show you equipment of a balloonist and get you acquainted with the structure of the balloon.In summertime, organizers offer to enjoy land art open-air museum «Dykhanie vetra» (Breath of the Wind) (near Posad village, Ust-Kishert neighbourhood).